The compositions of the COVID-19 vaccines have not changed even after the name changes.
Health Canada gave three COVID-19 vaccines full authorization on Thursday. This follows the country, like the rest of the world, utilizing the jabs with only emergency use approval for months. The involved jabs are the ones from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
The full approval stamp also comes with new names for the vaccines. This means that the vaccine makers will now market the jabs under their respective official brand names.
Pfizer will use “Comirnaty”, a combination of the words: COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity. As for the shots from Moderna and AstraZeneca, they will now be known as “Spikevax” and “Vaxzevria,” respectively.
Upon announcing the authorization, alongside the new names, Health Canada emphasized that the changes do not apply in the compositions of the COVID-19 vaccines. This comes as the renaming raised concerns about the possible confusion among the public.
(2/4) The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria.
— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) September 16, 2021
Renaming the COVID-19 vaccines
Speaking to Global News, vaccine and health experts explained the reason behind the name change. As stated, it is part of the “normal regulatory process” that these jabs have to undergo. Even so, it is likely that their “old names” would stick in the long run.
Canadian Center for Vaccinology Director Scott Halperin also pointed out that these new brand names were not Health Canada’s choice. It is a “branding exercise” of the vaccine makers, which, in this case, are Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.
The expert continued that the COVID-19 vaccines have had an “unusual” process. This is because they were released for emergency use authorization. Accordingly, the vaccine makers were not allowed to name their respective jabs until after receiving full approval.
Halperin, then, said that it is not that the vaccine makers renamed their vaccines. “It is just now their name is allowed to be used publicly.”
What the full approval stamp means
The authorization means that children ages 12 and up in Canada may now get their shots of the approved COVID-19 vaccines. This also “affirms the safety and efficacy” of the jabs, with the hopes of increasing the public’s “vaccine confidence.”
On the same day, Pfizer Canada’s vaccines lead Fabien Paquette released a statement regarding the approval of Comirnaty. He said that there is still “much work” to do due to the increasing rates of infection and hospitalization across the country. He also pointed out that this is despite the “significant” number of vaccinated Canadians because of the eligible population, who has yet to take their COVID-19 vaccines.
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